5 Tips For a Successful Cyclocross Season
If you were disappointed with how you raced last cyclocross season, had some issues with your cx skills, or simply felt you could have been faster, then these simple (and in many cases obvious) tips can make your next season a winning one.
If you are serious about cyclocross you should not touch your road bike all cyclocross season, and limit your time on a mountain bike. Also mix in cyclocross rides during the spring and summer so you don’t look as shaky as a new born baby deer when you do a cross dismount in August. Most elite cross racers will mix in some cyclocross rides in the off-season, riding the bike more starting in July, and exclusively by September. Most racers will have a set of wheels mounted with road tires for their cross bike for training on the road and group rides. When you spend a lot of time on a bike it starts to feel like an extension of your body and becomes very predictable both on and off road. Predictable equals fast.
2. Do Your Cyclocross Workouts Off-road
When you start doing cross specific workouts and intervals make sure to do them off-road on mini-cross courses. It is easy to get sucked into wanting to do your intervals on the road where you can hit predictable power numbers, but in a cross race you are going to have to put power down on bumpy, slippery, and twisty terrain. Make your cross workouts into real cross workouts and do them off-road
3. Learn Proper Cyclocross Technique
Having proper technique for carrying, dismounting and mounting your bike in all different scenarios not only makes you a faster more efficient rider, but also cuts down on mechanical issues because you are not banging the bike around. Sadly many amateur riders have some holes in their technique and enrolling in a cyclocross skills clinic is the best way to fill those holes.
4. Strengthen Your Core
Cyclocross has a lot of weird unbalanced repetitive motions such as jumping on and off your bike from the same side as well as always carrying your bike on the other side. These repetitive motions can lead to weird and debilitating overuse injuries.
5. Take an Off-season
If you race cross all fall it is easy to jump into training for the upcoming road or mountain bike season after only a few weeks rest. For most people your body and soul need more than a few weeks rest. Take the time to recharge and do some other activities. Here is a list of the most popular off-season activities for cyclists.
Craig Richey is a multiple time Canadian National team member, representing Canada at mountain bike World Cups and cyclocross World Championships. Craig is currently doing an MBA in Boston and recently launched SponsorConnected.com